ACO 101: A Physician Primer with Mark Browne, MD

On the Wednesday, January 5th 2011 broadcast ACO 101: A Physician Primer at 11AM Pacific and 2PM Eastern, my guest commentator and co-host is consultant, health innovation thought leader, and blogger, Mark Browne, MD of Pershing Yoakley & Associates, aka @consultdoc on Twitter.

While on the front end of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rule making process, we’ll focus on the known fundamentals of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) of interest to physicians. Specifically we’ll address:

(1) What are ACO’s? Absent regulatory guidance, we have primarily a 30 thousand foot view with some pilot and demonstration exceptions. (2) What are the known or proximal models in operation to date? How are they structured? (3) How will ACO’s impact medicine and my practice in particular? Is this Medicare and Medicaid only? Or will its influence extend to the private or commercial (employer sponsored) market? (4) Why are ACO’s seen as a centerpiece in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Why the optimism? (5) What ‘go to’ resources are available, including related industry experience garnered from HMO’s, PPO’s and prior integrated delivery systems, to facilitate my education? (6) Why do ACO’s hold promise for taming the thirst of a seemingly insatiable health care financing and delivery ‘non’ system? (7) What does ‘physician leadership’ look like during the ACO consideration process?

Your advanced comments and questions are invited and welcome, and can be posted below via the comment section. In a prior post, we supplied links to 3 timely and informative reports well worth your review. Please join us.



Join the Conversation


  1. Great ACO resource..

    You’ve put together a great agenda and if you answer your listed questions this would help us greatly..

    A few additional questions that would help our particular situation – in the hypothetical situation with an ACO with the minimum 5,000 patients – how would this ACO be task organized – specifically – number of PCPs.

    Also – what would the ACO support / admin element look like – the tip of the spear we will have providers – but what’s supporting all these folks (e.g. claims, clinical support, etc)

    And finally, payments – do we have any data to start to project what the PMPM would be – is this information out there somewhere?

    Thx – Pete

    As a closer – in three weeks we are bringing together several of our larger area independent PCP groups – a working group only – What should one or two main take-ways be for this meeting when these docs / admin head back to their respective groups / shareholders.?

    1. Hi Peter and thanks for the question. I believe that level of detail will be vetted during the rules process.

      Meanwhile, the most comprehensive source I’ve found to date is published by the Congressional Research Service. The abstract is here: You can download the complete report as a PDF.

      Really appreciate the comment!

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